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Help with Casings

Boyjie | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Please can anyone give me advice on the best and easiest way to put elastic and cording into a pair of men’s shorts.  I manage the elastic OK but the cording proves to be a problem and is difficult to insert once the casing has been stitched.


  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    The easiest way is to buy the elastic that has the cord already inserted in it (made as one unit).

    Assuming that you are trying to insert a cord after the casing has been stitched down to the elastic, ---make sure that the casing you stitch for the cord is larger than you think you need, because the puckering of the elastic will take up some of the room you wanted for the cord.  It will also help if you can find a way to hold tension on the casing, thus flattening the puckers so the cord can be inserted without fighting all those bumps!  Do you really need a cord AND elastic?

    Hope this helps,


    1. Boyjie | | #2

      Many thanks Becky,  I was not aware one could buy elastic with the casing as a unit. Have not seen it in South Africa (perhaps I just was not looking).

      I'll try out your recommendations the next time I make trousers for my husband - has to be easier than the last time !

      Regards, Boyjie

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #3

        If you can't find the elastic there, you might be able to order it on-line.


        1. Boyjie | | #4

          Thanks,  I'll give that one a miss, by the time we have conversted the US$ to Rand and paid the postage the costs are usually prohibitive.  Thanks anyway.


  2. Teaf5 | | #5

    Do you mean that you need to insert an elasticized drawstring through the waistband?  For that, I use a diaper pin or bodkin. In addition to making the casing wide enough to fit the cord (probably at least twice as big as the diameter of the cord) it helps to trim and zigzag the seam allowances together at side seams and front/back seams so that the bodkin doesn't get stuck in the little pockets they form.

    However, for waist ties, I prefer to use shoelaces, which come in all lengths and colors, have a slight amount of give, yet stay tied.  The shoelace tip makes a nice stiff leader for the cord and will fit within the bodkin or pin.  The ends are nicely finished, and everyone is comfortable tying a shoelace!

    Another option is to stitch elastic into the back half of the waistband and run shorter, separate cords from the side seams to the front.  You can do this by opening up the inside of the side seam at the casing to insert the bodkin.  This way, you get the stretch of the elastic in the back, and the smooth look of the cord in the front.

    1. Boyjie | | #6

      Many thanks for your comments, I now have a few ways to try the next casing I do.


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